What do you call the food version of an earworm? I’m talking beyond craving. It is a pesky nagging feeling that tickles my tongue and bops around in my mind refusing to be silenced. I get these all the time and they heavily influence my cooking. But what do I call these super cravings? Leave a comment please! I want to know what you call this gastro-earworm.
I made these grilled shrimp tacos in the hopes of silencing a recent infestation of said nagging sensations. In the moment I was able to restrain myself from chowing down on all of Margee’s leftover shrimp, but as the week progressed I kept thinking about those few spicy smoky bites. By Saturday I was itching for a fix and it seemed like the best way to squelch the feeling was to throw restraint to the wind and grill up some tacos!
It turns out they were simple to make. There are several steps but with a little organization none of them were very complicated. We had many of the ingredients on hand and I sent Mr. out to pick up the ones we needed. He did a great job if you exclude the part where he forgot to turn over the list, that he wrote, and forgot to grab corn. It was a sad moment but we forged ahead and were very happy we did.
The only problem with theses zesty shrimp tacos is how much I enjoyed them. Here I am another week later harkening back and salivating like Pavlov’s Dog when the bell rings. Looks like we may need to add several more taco nights to our summer menu. Try these at your own risk!
PS: I actually do have a good amount of self control. Grilled shrimp tacos are a safe splurge that fit nicely into our family’s normal diet. My flamboyance is more of a literary device.
PPS: Not that the story isn’t true. I absolutely found myself moist at the corners of my mouth several times during the week after trying the shrimp tacos.
PPPS: Please read the entire recipe before beginning to cook. Here are a few additional notes to help you achieve total grilled shrimp taco success:
- These shrimp tacos are best suited to the bright flavor of corn tortillas but can be served on your favorite small tortillas, avoid anything larger than 8 inches across.
- The marinated shrimp can be cooked on skewers to make them easier to handle. I prefer a grill pan, the kind that can placed right over your grill rack with lots of holes to let the smoke through but prevent smaller foods from falling into the fire.
- The original recipe calls for grilling the shrimp on a cedar plank that has been soaked for 30 minutes. This method adds a sweet smokiness. Cedar and other wood planks for cooking and grilling are sold by grocery, gourmet food, or on-line retailers if you can get one do it!
Finally: Calculating the nutrition per serving on this recipe it is not particularly straight forward. The numbers my fancy recipe creator offers below are waaaay off. I’ll break down my approach to “counting” these tacos following the recipe for those who are interested.
- small tortillas - see note
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice (approximately 1 medium lime)
- 2 teaspoons chipotle hot sauce (or sauce from canned chipotle chilies in adobo)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon all spice
- 1 pound medium raw shrimp - peeled & deveined
- 1 medium avocado, ripe but firm
- 2-3 medium tomatillos, papery leaves removed
- 2-4 large green onions, root end and thinest top leaves trimmed
- 1 medium jalapeno, halved and seeded
- 1 medium lime, quartered
- ⅓ cup chopped cilantro (or 1 tablespoon Gourmet Garden cilantro)
- sprinkle of sea salt
- ½ head of cabbage, cut into 2-3 large wedges
- ⅓ cup white wine vinegar
- sprinkle of sea salt
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
- Place the shrimp in a medium bowl. In a small bowl whisk together the ingredients for the marinade and pour it over the shrimp, stir to coat then set aside.
- Place the prepared vegetables and lime wedges onto a baking sheet, brush or spritz each side with a thin layer of olive oil (hello Misto!). Grill the vegetables and lime until lightly charred on all sides. Place the veggies back on the baking sheet as they finish, allow the longest time for the cabbage.
- Once the vegetables are cool to the touch, scoop the avocado flesh from the skin and roughly dice it into ½ half inch cubes. Place the avocado into a medium bowl. Dice the tomatillo and green onion and add them to the avocado. Mince the jalapeno and add it to the bowl along with the cilantro and a few pinches of salt. Stir to combine but avoid mashing the guacamole.
- Remove the core from the cabbage wedges and slice them into thin strips. Place the strips into a large bowl and toss with the vinegar and a few pinches of salt.
- Preset your grill pan so it gets up to the temperature of the grill, once the pan is hot place the shrimp in the pan and discard the marinade. Grill the shrimp over medium high heat until it pinks up and the flesh changes from translucent to white. The exact time will depend on their size but should only take about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the shrimp from the heat immediately so it stays tender.
- While the shrimp is on the grill, lightly grill each tortilla for a minute or so on each side. Flip as soon as they are kissed by golden grill marks. Keep the pile of tortillas wrapped in foil until ready to serve.
- Lay a bit of slaw on a tortilla then plop on some shrimp and add about a tablespoon and a half of guacamole. Serve two tacos per plate with a wedge of grilled lime on the side.
This is one of those recipes that used to get me pretty rattled when it came to entering the calories, fat, carbs, etc. into my daily log. For one thing each component makes a different amount of servings – sorry. Rather than shying away from a perfectly delicious and fairly balanced meal I have learned to eat mindfully rather than sweating the details.
Now, let’s break this puppy down.
- First off the shrimp. The majority of the marinade will be discarded, therefore I don’t “count it.” For this recipe each serving is 2 tacos and the recipe makes enough for 5 servings. That is 3 ounces of shrimp (with a bit of change) per serving. So we’re at approximately: 90 calories, 1.5 g fat, .8 g carbohydrate, 0 fiber, 17 g protein.
- The slaw is nice and fluffy so you will have more than enough for four or five people. Since it is simply cabbage, vinegar, and a few pinches of salt I count it as “0.”
- As with the slaw I do not count the vegetables in the guacamole, just the avocado. If we assume a generous 2 ounces of avocado per serving it adds approximately: 100 calories, 9 g fat, 6 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein.
- I do assume about 1/4 teaspoon of olive oil per taco. For an additional 10 calories and 1 g fat.
If you have been tracking along with me that brings us to approximately 200 calories, 11.5 g fat, 7 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 19 g protein and a PP value of 5 for the filling in two vibrant, smoky, spicy, indulgent, summery delicious tacos. Bear in mind, we left out a number of fiber rich ingredients and the final nutritional content will depend on your choice of tortilla. But I hope you can see how I worked this all out. Now, go ahead, take a deep breath and fire up that grill!
If you do your own number crunching please let me know how you calculated this dish. I’d love to hear your feedback.